We must take action to save agriculture from climate change – Peasant Farmers Association

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Peasant Farmers
Peasant Farmers

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has made a six-point proposal for immediate action by the Government given the impact of climate change on food security worldwide.

The proposals are to serve as a backdrop to Ghana joining the world in celebrating the climate change week in preparation for the Conference of Parties (COP 27) scheduled in Egypt from November 6 to 18, 2022.

Speaking after a national caravan on climate change march ahead of COP 27, the Executive Director of PFAG, Dr Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, urged the Government to immediately implement the land use Act to regulate the use of lands for agriculture, domestic and industrial activities while calling for immediate ban on the activities of illegal mining in the country to safeguard the lands, forestry and the environment.

He said the government needed to revisit the One Village One Dam initiative and seek alternative funding arrangements for the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam, including the option for Public Private Partnership arrangements.

“More investment is also needed to reconstruct the existing irrigation facilities across the country,” the Association stated.

He called on the government to commit budget allocation for rigorous mitigation and adaptation measures to avert further effects of climate change on smallholder farmers, especially women and young people in the country.

“We also call on government to protect (through a legislative and/or regulatory framework) and support (through innovative and inclusive financing mechanisms) agro-ecological practices that guarantee the preservation of ecosystems, food and nutritional sovereignty and livelihoods for people in the rural communities.” Dr Nyaaba said.

The Association said the Government should as a matter of urgency, increase investment for sensitization of farmers and other stakeholders on impact of climate change on the environment, water bodies and food security.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, rainfall has declined over the past four decades in all the agro-ecological zones in Ghana, and the sea level is also expected to rise from 5.8 cm in 2020 to 16.5 cm by 2050.

“Since climate change directly influence temperatures and precipitation trends as well as extreme events such as drought and flooding, the agriculture sector is unambiguously the most vulnerable sector,” he added

The Association said the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity have been huge as the sector mostly depended on rainfall, adding that; “This effect is highly felt in Northern Ghana, where the country obtains greater quantities of various foodstuffs and livestock.”

They stated: “Despite the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in which Goal ‘13’ emphasizes the need to take urgent action to combat climate change, and the Government of Ghana’s own Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the government of Ghana has not demonstrated much comment towards achieving this Goal.

“The Government of Ghana initiatives that aims at addressing food security in an environmentally friendly manner through the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Programme’ and ‘One Village One Day’ have not helped to reduce the vulnerability of Ghanaian smallholder farmers to the vagaries of the climate change

“The One Village One Dam Programme which is aimed at providing al year-round water for farmers especially in the Northern parts of the country have become a fiasco as the dams are unusable in the dry seasons. The Pwalugu Multi-purpose dam, has also not received the needed funding leading to the project being stalled after 35 months of sod-cutting.”

The Association said this approach to agricultural investment had impacted negatively on the environment, agroforestry and reduced agricultural contribution to GDP which led to high level of poverty among smallholder farmers in the country, hence our proposals to Government for immediate action.

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